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05/28/2024 12:19 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 10, 2021 02:30 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb and Rep. Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Reforming Felony Murder
In Pennsylvania, like many other states, a person can be found guilty of felony murder and be sentenced for life without parole without killing someone, intending to kill someone, or even knowing that another person had a weapon or even used it.
Several states have realized the injustice of such philosophy and have begun reforming and eliminating their felony murder rule. This includes such states as Kentucky, Michigan, Hawaii and California.
Our bill follows much of their logic. It rightly allows for the those who commit and underlying felony to be held accountable, while removing those who lacked intent to kill to be found guilty of a murder that they didn’t commit or in many cases, even knew for sure it happened.
This bill allows for murder in the second degree in the following circumstances.
  • The accused was the actual killer; or
  • The accused acted with intent to kill, aided, abetted, commanded, induced, solicited, or assisted the actual killer in the commission of murder in the first degree.
It then creates the ability for those previously convicted under the transferred intent argument to be resentenced for their plea to the underlying felony commission or any lesser included offense. And of course, this change would not be applicable to anyone who actually assisted in the murder.
Please join us in cosponsoring this legislation to ensure people are held accountable for their own actions and intent, rather than sentenced to life behind bars for the desires of someone else.

Introduced as HB2927